TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


Welcome to the website of the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS).


The Society's core aim is "To encourage and promote the study of the archaeology, heritage and history of the catchment area of the River Till".


We would like to share with you our interest in and enthusiasm for, everything to do with the history of the Till Valley and its river catchment, in north Northumberland. However, we are not averse to straying into other areas of the Border lands when it suits us to do so!


< Please click on the tabs on the top left-hand side of this page to learn about the Society and its activities.





Photo-River Till, looking south from Twizel Bridge


The website has a dual purpose:-

Firstly, we wish to reach as wide an audience as possible so that, hopefully, those interested will want to attend meetings, excursions, archaeological 'digs', field walking and social occasions and become members of the Society.

Secondly, the intention is to keep members up-to-date with all the latest news and to inform them on what has happened, what is happening and what is planned for the future.

The Till Valley in north Northumberland, UK, is rich in history and archaeological sites. It is also an attractive and varied landscape. The River Till rises high up in the Cheviot Hills and is named the River Breamish in its upper reaches, becoming the River Till at Bewick Mill. It is a major tributary of the River Tweed and, unlike other tributaries, its course lies entirely in England. It is a long river, perhaps 40 miles, although it is difficult to be precise because of its many twists and turns before it finally flows into the River Tweed at Tillmouth.                      


All photos on this and other pages © TillVAS or members who have given permission.

Photo-A concentrated effort in a trench below Branxton Hill in the area where the Scots army found themselves in difficult ground on 9th September 1513 at the Battle of Flodden.

TillVAS has its own Twitter account in order to 'spread the word'. Just enter @TillVAS in the Search field of your browser.

The counter below shows the number of visitors to the website since October 2013:-

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A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make the weekend of 29th to 31st of August such a success, firstly at the Test Pit digs for the Branxton & Crookham Village Atlas Project, in particular, our (resident!) archaeologists, Richard Carlton, John Nolan and Jenny Vaughan, our Project Manager, Mike Keating and our Archaeology Manager, Heather Pentland, as well as our volunteerr diggers and, secondly, at the Glendale Show, with special thanks to Maureen Charlton and Valerie Glass.


Please note that this will be at 2.30pm on Sunday, 11th October in Etal Village Hall and not on the date shown on the printed programme card. The lecture is entitled "The King in the North - the life and times of Oswald of Northumbria" and the speaker will be Max Adams, biographer, author, archaeologist and traveller. Tickets (£5p. head) can be obtained from Maureen Charlton, East Flodden Cottage, Milfield NE71 6JF on receipt of a cheque made out to TillVAS and accompanied by a SAE. Tickets will also be available at the next monthly, evening meeting on 2nd September.


Steering Committee— members of that committee should note that there will be a meeting on Monday, 7th September at 6.30pm in Crookham Village Hall.


Thursday, 3rd September to Monday, 14th September. The excavation will be at New Ladykirk, immediately north of Norham Castle and will target some interesting shapes identified by geophysics. This could have been the site of Scottish gun emplacements used in the bombardment of the castle in 1513. Please contact Richard Carlton to volunteer for all or any of the days.



Two dates for the diary:-

27th September in Crookham Village Hall and

24th October in Etal Village Hall. Details to follow

INTRODUCTION TO SCOTTISH ARCHAEOLOGY COURSE (SECOND HALF), Birgham Village Hall, Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm. Free lectures. Everyone welcome.

15th Sept-Early Medieval.

22nd Sept-The Romans and Early Medieval in Lowland Scotland.

29th Sept-Medieval Highlands and Islands including the Lordship of the Isles.

6th Oct-Medieval and post- Medieval Material Culture in Scotland.

13th Oct-Battlefield and post-Medieval Scotland.


Committee members have visited Chris in the Walkergate Park Centre for Neuroehabilitation and Neuropsychiatry in Newcastle and have been impressed by the facilities and the care being delivered there. Chris is certainly in the best place because the Centre describes itself as one of the most advanced of its kind in Europe and a first in the United Kingdom. Chris is making good progress and is trying to keep up-to-date on what is happening with TillVAS, the Branxton & Crookham Village Atlas and the recent excavations. The latest word is that he will be home in December. He will need to go back to the hospital on a regular basis for physiotherapy.



On 2nd September 2015, Roger Jermy will speak on "The Limestone Industry on Holy Island".  The talk will be in Crookham Village Hall, at 7.30pm. Please note that there will not be a lecture in August.

Please click on the Latest Newsletter page to see the August Newsletter.


Click on Report on Events, above, for detailed accounts of press reports.


The Society operates a bookstall at all its meetings.

Items for sale include:-

1. The Society's first publication Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed at £10 per copy and

2. Vivian Wilcock's Andrew Todd 1844-1908 ( with research input by TillVAS members) at £5 per copy.

See the Publications page for more about these books. Copies of Breamish and Till are also available in Cornhill Village Shop, Etal Village Shop and Ford Village Shop.


There are also archaeological books and journals for sale. Net proceeds of sale go to TillVAS funds.